F.P. Walshe Flyers are off to a strong start in a rebuilding season after back-to-back provincial high school baseball titles.
The Flyers, who are coached by Landon Schneider, Darcy Brauer and Alan Schneider, lost a squeaker in Claresholm last week but rallied for a win at home.
Grade 12 Flyers are David Van Hierden, Jon Call David and Brayden Van Driesten.
Grade 11 Flyers are Ryan Cook, Clayton Dorn and Chris Hansen.
Grade 10 students suiting up for the Flyers are Brett Burrows, Colton Holtz, and Colton Ribling, and Grade 9s are Eric Maskowitz, Avery Van Driesten, Brady Welsh and Aidan Kidd.
The Flyers hosted Kate Andrews Pride on Tuesday, but results were too late for The Macleod Gazette’s press deadline.
The Flyers are on the road at Crowsnest Pass on Thursday, May 3 before hosting Willow Creek Cobras at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 8.
Cobras 15 Flyers 12
The Flyers were edged 15-12 April 23 by the host Willow Creek Composite Cobras as the regular season opened at Claresholm.
The Flyers took an early lead but watched in dismay at the Cobras fought back for the victory.
“We started out strong and led early but fell apart in the fourth, allowing nine runs,” Schneider said. “This was too big of a gap for us to close against their strong closing pitcher.”
“I attribute this loss to having a very young team who mentally lost focus and a team who has not had to face many losses or even being behind considering the group they have played with for years.”
Schneider was referring to the Flyers teams led by Jake Hansen, Maverick Price, Luke Lavorato and Taylor Wolstenholme, which won two consecutive provincial titles.
“I have explained to them that we are a young rebuilding team with an awesome young core and that winning is something that is going to have to be earned and worked very hard for over the next couple years,” Schneider said.
The Flyers jumped to a 3-0 first inning lead and added another run in the second.
The Flyers added four more runs in the third to lead 8-0 before the Cobras countered with three in the bottom half of the inning.
F.P. Walshe scored three in the top of the fourth to lead 11-3, but the Cobras bats came to life in the bottom of the inning as Willow Creek scored nine runs to lead 12-11.
The Flyers tied the game in the top of the fifth, but the Cobras put it away with three runs in the bottom of the inning.
Aidan Kidd started on the mound for the Flyers, with Ryan Cook pitching in relief. They combined for nine strikeouts.
Flyers 12 Cougars 10
The Flyers got their first win of the young season on Thursday at Westwinds Stadium when they edged Cardston Cougars 12-10.
“This was a much better game for us and it was a complete team effort,” Schneider said. “Everyone on our team had a big game and it was a complete team win. Unlike Claresholm we found ourselves down early and instead of collapsing mentally we stayed composed and battled back in a big way.”
The Flyers found themselves in trouble early as Cardston went up 8-6 after two innings, but they battled back.
“The big turning point was when David Van Hierden had a monster hit into left center burning the fielder and scoring two,” Schneider said. “After this it was all uphill for us. The team was upbeat and positive and responded exactly how we wanted them to from the Claresholm loss.”
Jon Call David, making his first-ever start at first base after five years out of baseball, turned in a strong game.
Grade 9 player Brady Welsh was solid in four innings on the mound after coming on in relief of Clayton Dorn. Ryan Cook pitched one inning to close out the win. They combined to allow eight hits while striking out four.
Offensively, Ryan Cook and David Van Hierden each hit two doubles, and Brayden Van Driesten and Clayton Dorn each had two singles.